Edmonton City Council is in the process of selling two pieces of land currently marked as surplus school sites to private schools. Public lands should be used for public not private interests. Read the press release. On October 31, a coalition of organizations led by Public Interest Alberta and the Edmonton and District Labour Council laid out three calls to action:
- Edmonton City Council must overturn this re-zoning motion.
- Edmontonians should contact their City Councillors, and all organizations represented will be encouraging their members to do so.
- The provincial government and municipalities across the province must put in place rules to ensure surplus sites like these cannot be sold to private schools in the future.
What you can do:
- Read the City of Edmonton Policy which calls for surplus school sites to be designate for residential uses, adopted by City Council July 7, 2015.
- Write to your city councillor. Let them know you want public lands to be kept for the public interest.
- Find your Edmonton City Councillor.
- Write to them using this online form.
- Share your message to your City Councillor on social media. Tell your friends!
Here's a sample template for contacting your Councillor:
Dear Councillor ____________,
I am concerned about the recent news that Edmonton City Council is planning to sell surplus school lands in Kiniski Gardens and Evansdale to private schools. It is particularly concerning because these sites were made surplus after school boards determined those communities wouldn't need any additional schools in the long term. So, the new private schools could put our public schools at risk if they are successful at attracting more students from those communities (which they say is part of the reason they want to move to those sites).
Public lands should be used in the public interest. Please do the right thing and work to stop that process, and let's use public lands for something that builds community instead of dividing people.
Thank you for your time.
The coalition of organizations includes:
- Public Interest Alberta
- Edmonton District Labour Council
- CUPE 784, representing maintenance and construction staff in Edmonton Public Schools
- CUPE 474, representing custodial staff in Edmonton Public Schools
- CUPE 3550, representing support staff in Edmonton Public Schools
- Unifor Local 52A, representing support staff in Edmonton Catholic Schools
For more information:
City hall approves sale of two sites for Punjabi, Muslim schools - Edmonton Journal, September 13, 2016
City's plan to sell surplus lands for private schools upsets public school board - Edmonton Journal, October 3, 2016